Lebanon -The diplomatic crisis is deepening between Arab League and Lebanon over controversial statements by a Lebanese minister. The rift is escalating and the latest Gulf nation to announce stringent decision is Bahrain. On Tuesday, the Kingdom of Bahrain has urged its citizens in Lebanon to leave the country immediately. Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani has urged all citizens in Lebanon to immediately evacuate “due to the tense situation there, which requires caution”. The Bahrain citizens and residents have also been advised against travelling to Lebanon ‘permanently’ to avoid exposure to any risk.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain has urged all citizens in the Lebanese Republic to leave immediately, following the tense situation there which calls for extra caution,” the foreign ministry said in a statement released by the official Bahrain News Agency on Tuesday. “The ministry reiterated its previous statements on not to travel to the Lebanese Republic definitively, in order to prevent the citizens from being exposed to any risks and to ensure their safety,” the statement continued.
Earlier this month, now embattled Lebanese Minister of Information George Kurdahi came in firing line over his comments calling Yemen war “absurd”. He also called Saudi Arabia an “aggressor” in the war of Yemen. He also called the conflict in Yemen “futile” and that Houthis were acting in “self defence”. A Saudi-led military coalition has been fighting the Houthi Shia Muslim rebel movement in Yemen for the past seven years. Kurdahi also indicated his support towards Iran backed Houthi militias in Yemen.
The comments directed at Saudi Arabia infuriated the kingdom as well as other members of the League. Riyadh immediately called back its ambassador from Lebanon and imposed ban on all imports from the country. The move had a ripple effect in country with many Gulf nations and now recently Bahrain called back their envoys from Beirut.
Though Kurdahi’s comments were apologized by the Lebanese prime minister, but the damage has already been inflicted on the country that is battling a plethora of crisis. Lebanon currently is under an economic crisis, debt, pandemic and political instability.